The international human rights mechanisms such as the Human Rights Council, Universal Periodic Review (UPR), treaty bodies and special rapporteurs play an important role in ensuring States’ accountability for human rights reform. For example, UPR is State-driven process established by the Human Rights Council in 2006 which conducts a periodic review of the human rights records of the United Nations Member States including Malaysia with the ultimate goal to improve the human rights situation in every country. Malaysia has undergone its third UPR which took place in 2018.
Another mechanism of the Human Rights Council is the special rapporteurs who are independent human rights experts entrusted with the mandate to report and advise on human rights issues based on thematic or country-specific context. Their working method include the conduct of country visits and thematic studies, and development of human rights standards and guidelines, among others. They also look into individual cases on alleged human rights violations and concerns by engaging with the State(s) to seek further clarification and action by the State(s).
On the other hand, treaty bodies are committees of independent experts who monitor the States’ implementation of the obligations contained in the international human rights treaties to which they are a party to. Currently, Malaysia is a State Party to three international human rights treaties, namely the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). As a State Party, Malaysia is required to report to the
committees of the said treaties on the progress of the implementation of its obligations under these treaties.
SUHAKAM, in its capacity as a national human rights institution of Malaysia, actively engages with these international human rights mechanisms in various ways including through participation in its sessions, direct engagement with the special rapporteurs and submission of independent reports or statements to highlight pressing human rights issues in Malaysia.